What is safe when being plus-sized at theme parks? There was a tragedy in my town the other day.  A 14-year-old flew out a ride to his death at Icon Park.  

This is has hit me hard because not only do I have teen children and live in Orlando, but my son was begging to go to ride the rides in Icon Park just the other day.  It was his Spring break and he thought this was a great idea because we were not going anywhere.  

Every time we drive past the new Drop Tower I say, “no way, I could never watch you go up there”.  Even the drop tower at Busch Gardens (Falcon’s Fury) I couldn’t watch as they rode to the top.  

There is a rumor (I will update this post as more detail emerge) that the teen was too big to be on the ride.  However, the safety lights indicating he was fully restrained and buckled in were lit.  

It made me think:

How big is too big for rides?  Is it height or weight?  

We are more familiar with someone being too small for rides. These are usually by height, but should they also be by weight?  

When researching this article, I found lots of information on seeing if you are too big to ride the rides and finding ways to fit into rides.  But little talk about someone being too heavy to safely ride a ride.

There appear to be no weight limits on any Disney World Roller Coasters or rides, nor any weight limit on rides at Universal Orlando.

Walt Disney World 

When I see people asking this question in Disney forums and Facebook groups many say they are “Pooh Sized”. But what does that actually mean?  Usually, this refers to a Plus-Sized person, who is very overweight and may have a hard time fitting in average-sized rides, airplane seats, restaurant booths, etc.

This is a good article to check out.

Many Disney rides have sample cars.  Such as Dumbo and Test Track.  It is a good idea to check these out before the more “active” rides.  However, I would worry less at Disney world than other theme parks since the rides are typically less intense.

Universal Studios Orlando 

Universal has a test mock-up of the vehicle of each of its rides.  There are no weight restrictions at Universal rides.  But you must be able to fit in the ride safely. After this tragedy, I would encourage those to really think if they fit. 

Universal has some modified cars for those bigger guests as well.  This includes The Incredible Hulk Coaster. 

Check out this article from a first-hand view of a larger guest.  However, I am not sure using “tips” to fit in a ride is the right strategy going forward.

Universal also states that those with a waistline above 40 inches may not be able to ride the following rides:

Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic World VelociCoaster, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Revenge of the Mummy.

What does this mean for plus-sized theme park visitors?

It comes down to each of us knowing what is safe for ourselves to ride.  Whether this is if you are plus-sized at theme parks, or encouraging children to wear thicker soled shoes to be taller.

Am I too heavy for roller coasters?

Only you can decide. But I hope this starts a discussion and prevents another tragedy,

Disney Ride Reviews

Ratatouille Epcot

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

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